Each year, exposure to cold, vehicle accidents caused by wintery roads, and fires caused by the improper use of heaters injure and kill hundreds of people. These and other winter weather hazards have a significant threat to human health and safety. Major winter storms can include high winds, freezing rain or sleet, heavy snowfall, and dangerously cold temperatures. The aftermath of a winter storm can last for days, weeks, or even months. To know what you should prepared for, it is important to know what different types of advisories, watches and warnings that are issued during winter weather:
Winter Weather Advisory:
Accumulations of snow, freezing rain and/or sleet may cause significant inconveniences and could lead to life-threatening situations.
Winter Storm Watch:
Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 12 to 48 hours.
Winter Storm Warning:
Issued when hazardous weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain and/or heavy sleet is occurring or expected to occur within the next 36 hours.
Wind Chill Advisory:
Wind chill values between -20°F and -29°F are expected to occur within the next 36 hours.
Wind Chill Watch:
Wind chill values of -30°F or lower are possible within the next 12 to 48 hours.
Wind Chill Warning:
Wind chill values of -30°F or lower are expected to occur within the next 36 hours.
Freezing Rain Advisory:
Accrual of less than ¼ inch of ice is expected due to freezing rain within the next 36 hours.
Ice Storm Warning:
Accrual of ¼ to one inch or more of ice is expected due to freezing rain within the next 36 hours.
Be prepared for winter weather before it arrives.
• At home, make sure you have an emergency kit with winter items such as snow shovels, sand or rock salt, adequate blankets and clothing, food and water. Make sure you have sufficient heating and install carbon monoxide detectors.
• Be sure to have your vehicle winterized before the winter storm season. If you must travel, have a predetermined route and let someone know when you plan to leave and arrive. Keep the gas tank full, take a charged cell phone and travel in the daylight, if possible. Keep a disaster supply kit in your vehicle in case you are stranded.
• Review your family’s emergency plan. Know where and how to get in contact with each other in case you are separated. Listen to the radio or watch the local news for weather updates and important alerts. Make sure all your cell phones or laptops are fully charged. Bring your pets and animals inside and move livestock to sheltered areas.
• Businesses and employers should also consider winter weather preparedness for a safe and successful operation. Talk with your employees about winter safety, and discuss emergency and winter weather policies.
• Sign up for the Adair/Guthrie Emergency Notification System
For questions contact Stephanie Claussen, Community Preparedness Coordinator at 641-743-6173 or Amy O’Rourke, Disaster Coordinator with Adair County Health System at 641-743-2123 or Robert Kempf with Adair County Emergency Management at 641-332-3030.
Stay safe and keep warm this season.
The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
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